Austrian Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner signed a cooperation agreement entitled “Gemeinsam.Sicher” (Safe Together) with the Jewish community of Vienna (IKG Wien).
Together with IKG President Oskar Deutsch, Mr. Karner visited the IKG educational campus in Vienna’s 2nd district for the occasion. The object of the agreement is a “symbolic and regular exchange”, said Karner.
“We want to communicate eye-to-eye,” said the Minister. For Jewish Austrians, reticence to report incidents needs to be reduced. To this end, biannual meetings are initiated where religious communities and the police can exchange information.
IKG President Deutsch praised the relationship with the police as internationally exemplary. “The agreement is intended to strengthen trust between the police and the communities.”
Different generations of the Jewish community live together on the IKG campus in Vienna-Leopoldstadt. There was no particular reason for the timing of the agreement, said Deutsch. “I would still be happy if there was no need for something like this,” said the IKG president.
!Without police protection, Jewish life is in many cases not possible!, he added. “Every person in Austria should understand that antisemitism is a no-go.”
The IKG Wien is Austria’s EJC affiliate.